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Entrance to Portomarin

Sandrapf99

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future:As soon as we are able to travel post Covid travel restrictions.
Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Also, do you remember climbing down a treacherous and dangerous piece before the crossing of the bridge? I’m not sure where exactly it is. I’m trying to avoid the dangerous parts at the end of that stage, when we’re most tired.

Thanks
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Thanks
No, you can go around the long way as well.

More interesting, is when the level of the reservoir is extremely low, as it has been in the ongoing drought, you can walk across on the old bridge. Not mediaeval, that one came down ages ago, but pleasant to walk across anyway, when possible.

There's a long way round from the other side of that one too.
 
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No, you can go around the long way as well.

More interesting, is when the level of the reservoir is extremely low, as it has been in the ongoing drought, you can walk across on the old bridge. Not mediaeval, that one came down ages ago, but pleasant to walk across anyway, when possible.
I think they're asking once they cross the bridge and are at the stairway.
 
I think they're asking once they cross the bridge and are at the stairway.
Yes indeed, just adding some extra info.

Both sets of stairs can be avoided, whichever bridge you might use.

And there are two long ways round, right or left, but yes right side is the more sensible of the two options.
 
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My wife and I both are afraid of heights. Walking across the high bridge even with the guardrails on the pedestrian walkway is quite frightening for us. I look straight ahead, not glancing down or aside. Then when we reach the other side, here are the very steep stairway into Portomarin. We love the town, the shops, restaurants, and bars, but don't enjoy the entrance to the city. Bob
 
Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Thanks
When you reach the stairs, simply turn to your right.
Follow that road a short distance up to where you can see a way (to the left) into the village.
I want to say there is a park there, but it could be just a walkway between buildings.
Maybe it's a street named Lugo?
I've done it a kazillion times, but by that time of day, I'm just a walking robot.
Here is a little map - sorry, I'm not good at this.
 

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Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Looking at the map provided by @Anniesantiago above - there is a small path more or less immediately to the right of the stairs (on the map it is right under 'd' of Av de Sarria).
Looks a bit steep but definitely bypasses the stairs if that's the goal (BTW, I found them to be not as challenging as I initially thought)
 
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Looking at the map provided by @Anniesantiago above - there is a small path more or less immediately to the right of the stairs (on the map it is right under 'd' of Av de Sarria).
Looks a bit steep but definitely bypasses the stairs if that's the goal (BTW, I found them to be not as challenging as I initially thought)
Ok, thank you
 
I walked up the stairs. I thought it was the only way into town and the continuation of the Camino. A truck must have passed in front of me as I got to the base of the stairs, so I missed the yellow Camino arrows pointing to the left. Oh, well, I had 3 big glasses of orange juice and a toasted ham and cheese sandwich at a restaurant across from the Romanesque church in the middle of town. Duly fortified, I partially retraced my steps and walked down a long hill leading west out of town, turned left at the bottom and picked up the Camino signs. Crossed a bridge over an inlet of the reservoir and up I went in the direction of Palas de Rei. Somewhere in the forest, I paused and rested on a log. Three nice doggies came along and wanted to play. Maybe they smelled a hint of cheese and ham in the air . . . It was a good day.
 
@Sandrapf99, I too have a fearful dread of heights and an even worse fear of being dragged backwards by my pack when on steps/stairs without a handrail..

In October 2017, after the bridge I turned right and walked up to the top of the town: this is the route cyclists take (and they look for the easy ways in, don't they).

Going to the right also brings you to where most accommodation is.

Also, signposts to the church point right as you reach the end of the bridge.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

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I went into the town because I wanted to eat at O Mirador (with all the buzz i heard about it). Of course with my luck it was Monday and they were not opening until 1PM. I was not about to wait for close to 2 hours for the privilege... so i went to Bar Gonzar next door, had my Desayuno numero duo - Bocadillo Jamon York con tomat and then checked out Igrexa de San Nicolao before pretty much taking the same steps\route as @John Crawford Howell described above and proceeded to Casa Maruja in Castromaior.....
Good day... even with a bit of rain....
 
As most have posted yes at the approach to the stairs you can go right and up the hill to the village. The other question you posed was regarding a treacherous downhill on entering portomarin. Yes there is. I traveled it in early November 2022. There are signs to give you alternate routes in 2 different places coming into portomarin . Follow the signs to avoid the more difficult route. These are typically a little longer in distance but perhaps easier underfoot
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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As most have posted yes at the approach to the stairs you can go right and up the hill to the village. The other question you posed was regarding a treacherous downhill on entering portomarin. Yes there is. I traveled it in early November 2022. There are signs to give you alternate routes in 2 different places coming into portomarin . Follow the signs to avoid the more difficult route. These are typically a little longer in distance but perhaps easier underfoot
Thank you so much. I’m traveling with a group, and some have bad knees.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

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Where does that take you if you turn left at the stairs???
How do you get up to Portomarin then?
I'm reverse engineering this a bit, Annie, but if you turn left at the base of the stairs, follow the Camino arrows, but when they direct you across a bridge, keep on walking straight ahead and take the hairpin sharp right and walk up the hill past O Mirador restaurant on the right. This street will take you directly into the middle of the town. Hope this helps.
 
I'm reverse engineering this a bit, Annie, but if you turn left at the base of the stairs, follow the Camino arrows, but when they direct you across a bridge, keep on walking straight ahead and take the hairpin sharp right and walk up the hill past O Mirador restaurant on the right. This street will take you directly into the middle of the town. Hope this helps.
If you look at Inkster's map, that sharp right mentioned above is Avenida Chantada.
 
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I think Portomarin is a lovely town and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it on either of my Caminos on the Frances. Yes, after crossing the bridge and seeing those steps looming ahead, it is a bit daunting, but it's really no big deal and feels great when you reach the top!
Take it slow if need be, rest a bit, turn around and see how far you've climbed...you'll make it.🙂
 
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I'm reverse engineering this a bit, Annie, but if you turn left at the base of the stairs, follow the Camino arrows, but when they direct you across a bridge, keep on walking straight ahead and take the hairpin sharp right and walk up the hill past O Mirador restaurant on the right. This street will take you directly into the middle of the town. Hope this helps.
I see. Yeah, to me it's quicker and easier to just turn right at the stairs and in a very short walk you're up in the village. Otherwise, you go DOWN, then have to go UP again. lol! I avoid hills when I can. I'm a wimp.
 
I see. Yeah, to me it's quicker and easier to just turn right at the stairs and in a very short walk you're up in the village. Otherwise, you go DOWN, then have to go UP again. lol! I avoid hills when I can. I'm a wimp.
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More interesting, is when the level of the reservoir is extremely low, as it has been in the ongoing drought, you can walk across on the old bridge. Not mediaeval, that one came down ages ago, but pleasant to walk across anyway, when possible.
Pics from Nov 2022
 

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I've been a bit confused having so many on this thread talk about options to avoid using the steps to go into town as @peregrino_tom shows. I was unaware the river could fluctuate so much and open up to provide another way when low.
My pics are from early May 2015 and 2017...no low bridge in sight.
Screenshot_20221230-072422~2.pngScreenshot_20221230-072544~2.png
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
You can go both left or right on the road, before the stairs. We usually stay at a Larger Hotel which is amost at the end of Portomarin, heading toward Palace de Rei. Thus we sometimes go left at the bottom and then turn right on the road heading up into Portomarin. So do look on google to find out where you are staying and then decide which route is better for
you!
 
I may have missed it as there are a lot of replies and I just skimmed through. However, it appears you may have not received an answer re the section prior to the bridge. When we walked it this June there was a big sign that directed you one way or the other (steep or less steep but longer)
 
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I may have missed it as there are a lot of replies and I just skimmed through. However, it appears you may have not received an answer re the section prior to the bridge. When we walked it this June there was a big sign that directed you one way or the other (steep or less steep but longer)
I know the big sign to which you refer. I chose the steeper route. As I recall, it was on a paved surface and not that difficult to descend, meaning, not hard on the quads. That was my experience.
 
I know the big sign to which you refer. I chose the steeper route. As I recall, it was on a paved surface and not that difficult to descend, meaning, not hard on the quads. That was my experience.
Last time this was discussed, somebody pointed out that there are actually three routes in, two of them being on the "steeper" route side.

All three are sloped, but take the right hand route and you won't go wrong. It's also the one that leads closest to the way down to the old bridge, if it's above water.
 
Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Also, do you remember climbing down a treacherous and dangerous piece before the crossing of the bridge? I’m not sure where exactly it is. I’m trying to avoid the dangerous parts at the end of that stage, when we’re most tired.

Thanks
Hi Sandrapf99 -
I do think you can walk around the stairs via right side as someone else mentioned. But in terms of the treacherous section before - yes - I know exactly what you're talking about because I inadvertently went that way. Not long after you pass Casabandaras Aleburgue (which you can see on Google earth or maps) you’ll come to a map/sign where you have to make a choice to walk the bike route way or the Ancient “Primitive” Pilgrimage way which by looking at the map/sign they have posted at that spot - if you go the ancient route it’s shorter, plus I just ended up following pack of people and they chose the ancient way. Basically if you have a bad knee this can be quite cumbersome and tricky. I had to sit on my butt and scoot down some of the rocks, very rocky with soft loose sand - like walking through a rocky trench with high walls. The end of that section drops you out next to the Highway and then you are getting close to famous bridge to cross into Portomarin. So take the bike route option if you want to avoid this section. I hope this info helps.
Doc River
 
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Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Also, do you remember climbing down a treacherous and dangerous piece before the crossing of the bridge? I’m not sure where exactly it is. I’m trying to avoid the dangerous parts at the end of that stage, when we’re most tired.

Thanks
"climbing down a treacherous and dangerous piece before the crossing of the bridge' Yes, there is a channel of rock that slopes downward sharply before the bridge; it reminded me of the descent into Zubiri, but it was much, much shorter. This channel was perhaps 40 feet long. You could do what I did to navigate this section. Sit down and scoot down! Much safer IMO than trying to navigate on foot especially if wet.
 
As you approach Portomarin there is a choice of routes, the left one takes you down a rather treacherous path, steep steps, loose underfoot and narrows. I remember thinking I would not like doing it in the rain. This being the section, starts off easy enough20190624_131843.jpg20190624_132140.jpg20190624_132324.jpg
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I remember that down-climb. It was my second walk to the bridge to Portomarin, the route having been changed since my previous arrival there. I could make no sense of the sign, which seemed to show three routes, where I had easily followed one safe route on my previous time through. I chose a route which looked shortest and headed directly for the bridge entrance. After an initial easy walk, it became very steep and irregular: a narrow down-climb between steep walls. I turned inward and hung on where I could, placing my feet very carefully all the way down to where the climb ended near the bridge entrance. I think I might have fallen if the footing had been wet.
 
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Hello everyone,

We want to know if the entrance to Portomarin is only by climbing up the stairs?

Also, do you remember climbing down a treacherous and dangerous piece before the crossing of the bridge? I’m not sure where exactly it is. I’m trying to avoid the dangerous parts at the end of that stage, when we’re most tired.

Thanks
Hi Sandrap
You can walk both left and right at the steps but the right is a bit steeper and longer.
As for the decent into Portomarin at the top of the hill before the decent there is an information board, the easiest and shortest route by far is using the right hand fork it’s trail and road all the way to the bridge.
Keith
 
Looking at the map provided by @Anniesantiago above - there is a small path more or less immediately to the right of the stairs (on the map it is right under 'd' of Av de Sarria).
Looks a bit steep but definitely bypasses the stairs if that's the goal (BTW, I found them to be not as challenging as I initially thought)
I agree - I was quite intimidated when we arrived but it was a much easier climb than I thought (62yo out-of-shape female). Portomarin is a lovely little town that I enjoyed exploring before settling in to an adorable inn.
 
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